Monday, November 16, 2009

Zombie Bookplates

Fake (posthumous) bookplates have been around for a long time. Auction houses and executors of estates increasingly print them to market books from the libraries of famous people.The Andy Warhol bookplate is a good example of this very questionable practice. Mr. Warhol never used a bookplate and this one was printed after his death. Let the buyer beware.

Books from the library of the late secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger are being offered for sale by several dealers in Washington D. C.. The bookplate contained in these volumes needs further research. The words "From the Library Of" are frequently used by auction houses when printing posthumous plates and the printing is not of the quality one would expect from a high ranking government official.

In 1863, two hundred volumes of books from George Washington's library were offered for sale by the W.L. Wall auction house in Washington. The fake bookplate shown below was inserted in those books. It was very poor copy and easily recognized by the crudely done signature.

It's Monday morning and I am still paying catch-up from my Boston trip so this posting is shorter than usual. I plan to write about Boston on Tuesday or Wednesday.

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